Australia lose their star all-rounder to another muscle strain.
Australia’s plans for its imminent series against top-ranked South Africa have been rocked by the confirmation Shane Watson will miss at least the first Test due to a calf injury.
The news means Alex Doolan is almost certain to debut against the Proteas, with selectors having to decide whether Watson should be replaced by either Phillip Hughes or fellow all-rounder Moises Henriques.
All-rounder James Faulkner, who served as 12th home in all five Tests in the just-passed home Ashes series, is unavailable due to minor knee surgery.
Original squad member Shaun Marsh is back in Australia but gave a strong indication he has overcome his calf injury, the one selectors cited to withdraw him from the squad, with an unbeaten half-century in Perth’s Big Bash League final win on Friday.
Watson hurt his right calf about a week ago in Potchefstoom but has since been nursed by the team. The first confirmation of his injury came on Friday when the team said he would not bowl in its intra-squad match on Friday, but was on track to bowl before the series begins on Wednesday in Centurion.